Notorious a Success With $21.5 Million Opening Weekend

Reports of violence weren't enough to keep moviegoers away this past weekend from seeing Notorious, the much anticipated biopic of slain Hip-Hop icon The Notorious B.I.G. Released figures have confirmed the project grossed $21.5 million in its opening weekend.

This amount placed the film at number four behind My Bloody Valentine 3-D ($21.9 million), Gran Torino ($22.2 million), and Mall Cop ($33.8 million).

However, Notorious with its limited theater release of 1,638 still boasted the best per screen average at $13,126.

Mall Cop, this week's #1 movie, generated a screen average of $10,751 in 3,144 theaters.

Notorious' debut makes it the most successful opening weekend for Fox Searchlight, beating out the company's previously critically acclaimed projects such as Juno and Little Miss Sunshine.

"It's a very high quality film, and it's compelling look at a compelling cultural icon who, like many cultural icons, left way too early but left an indelible mark on society," explained Chris Aronson, senior vice president at 20th Century Fox to the Associated Press. "The estimated three-day gross for Notorious showed it was more popular than expected beyond African-American audiences. We crossed over, which speaks volumes about his impact as a cultural icon."

At press time figures are being recounted between Notorious and My Bloody Valentine 3-D, which may result in the former rising to the number 3 position.